enemy indicate an intention of going either to Darlington, Florence, or this place. I think it probable he is making for Florence or Darlington. I regret to inform you that I met with great difficulty and delay in crossing the wagons, artillery, and troops across the Santee. McLaws' division is all here except a brigade which was left at Florence, under Colonel Hardy, to protect that place until the troops, wagons, and artillery have passed. I sent instructions yesterday to General Taliaferro urgently directing him to press forward to this place with the utmost expedition. I expect a portion of his command to night, and most, perhaps all of it, may be here before the enemy shall cut the road. Much of our artillery and most of the wagons are still in rear. I have directed all those which may arrive at Florence to-day and after to remain at that place until the movements of the enemy are developed, and if the command should be compelled to fall back, to move with it. Instructions have been sent to Colonel W. M. Hardy, also to General Taliaferro, if unable by movements of the enemy to join me here, to fall back toward the Santee, and to rejoin me by Sumterville and Camden.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. J. HARDEE,
P. S. - It is proper I should add that more of my cavalry has come up. It was the last to cross, being kept in rear to guard the crossing of the Santee. Another cause of delay and embarrassment arises from a heavy rise in the Great Pedee and its tributaries, which has carried away some important bridges on the route, thus causing the wagons and artillery to go much out of the way to rach this place. The lack of cavalry is much felt, as I am unable to learn the movements of the enemy.
W. J. HARDEE.
FEBRUARY 27, 1865.
Respectfully furnished Lieutenant-General Hampton.
Nothing has yet been received from General Cheatham since ha was heard of between Newberry and Unionville.
JOHN M. OTEY,
Return exhibiting effective total, total present, and aggregate present.
Command. Effectiv Total Aggregat
e total. present. e
Fiser's brigade. 841 877 951
Harrison's brigade a. 897 972 1. 045
Conner's brigade. 1. 433 1. 486 1. 594
Hardy's brigade b. . . . . . . . . .
Total. 3. 171 3. 335 3. 590
a The Second, Fifteenth, and part of the Twentieth Regiments, South Carolina Volunteers, are behind at Florence.
b Effective total as shown by last report, 750.
HEADQUARTERS McLAWS' DIVISION,
Cheraw, February 26, 1865.